Having kids drastically changed my body. I'm kind of amazing at gaining a shocking amount of weight while being pregnant, so after each child I've had more than my fair share of weight to get off.
After having Kennedy, I struggled badly to lose weight. I started exercising daily and counting calories and my weight never budged. I wasn't very educated on food at the time, so I kept thinking I needed to restrict more and restrict more. I was down to 1200 calories every day and unbelievably frustrated that I wasn't losing any weight. Now I know it was because I was starving my body and it was holding on to everything it could.
I finally made an appointment with my family doctor and we discovered my thyroid was out of whack. I also told him my whole story about not losing baby weight and he listened, and then prescribed me a couple weight loss prescriptions, along with thyroid medication (which I am still on, and probably will be forever). I was so desperate at the time to get the weight off I never asked any questions, I just took what he gave me and to my excitement, they worked!! They worked too well in fact. I could eat anything I desired and was still dropping weight. My diet was so poor but I didn't have a need to think about it since the medicine was doing it's job. I got down to my skinniest since probably 9th grade. I weighed less than what I lied and said I weighed when I first got my drivers license. While I wouldn't say I was too skinny, I was definitely thin, and it was obvious.
Those jeans on the bottom were a size I had never worn before. I felt great, but deep down knew it may not last once I stopped taking the medicine.
After a while I started to ween myself off of the meds and gradually gained 10lbs. At the time I hated that I was gaining weight, but looking back I know that my body was adjusting to a healthier weight range. I had also started going to my gym at the same time (this was 2013) and was gaining muscle mass but wasn't aware how much of an impact that made on weight. It always bugged me that I wasn't at my smallest, but I was still lighter than I was before I got pregnant with Kennedy.
Then I got pregnant with Brynlie...
9 months of horrible pain and unofficial bed-rest, later, I was pretty big, for me. I started dieting and going to the gym and really struggled to lose weight again. I joined a 12 week challenge at the gym that had a very strict, low-carb diet plan, and I was able to lose about 20 pounds.
I continued to try and get the weight off but it wouldn't budge. I saw a different doctor this time to check my body and everything came back normal, so he put me on a weight loss plan, not medication. I lasted about a month on it and then gave up because it, too, was very restrictive and made for obese clients. I did lose 10 more pounds, but it since has come back on since the plan was not lifestyle sustaining.
Since that time, I have tried various diets and programs with no success. I still have 12 pounds to lose to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight with Brynlie and she will be 2 in May. Over the two years I have had opportunities to educate myself on the importance of nutrition and diet and have since given up on any fads that are not lifestyle-sustaining. The best and most sustaining way I've found to get my body where it needs to be is by counting macros. I started doing this religiously at the end of January, had my numbers adjusted the end of February, started to lose inches, and then got sick and let it all go to crap. This week I am back to counting macros and keeping up on my lifestyle change.
Macro counting is tracking how many calories, fats, carbs, and proteins I eat each day. I have numbers customized to my body type and activity level, and I'm supposed to stay within those given numbers. For those curious, I eat about 1800-2000 calories a day with 160g protein, 60g fat, and 190g carbs, I do increase the carbs the day before and the day of my long runs. I try to eat as clean and unprocessed as possible, but sometimes I adjust what I am eating so that a treat can fit in my macros and I can enjoy it guilt-free. Many people call it flexible dieting and it helps because you never have to restrict yourself and crash diet. Technically, if it fits your macros, you can eat it!
So, why am I sharing this? I have a few reasons:
1. First, I want you to know that I feel like I've tried it all. Sure, diets will work for many. But they will only work if you can maintain that diet for your entire life. Otherwise, as soon as you stop, the weight will gradually come back. Remember that as you're looking for a diet/exercise plan. It has to be something you can do forever. Also, don't try the medication route.
2. I am still kind of "new" to counting macros and I feel like I can be more successful if I share that with you. I want to document as time goes on how this new change is working for me and maybe I can answer some questions you might have and share macro-friendly recipes. In short, I need someone to keep me accountable and who better than random people reading my blog?
3. I'm not perfect in the slightest sense. I mess up still. I sneak a cookie or a treat here and there and "forget"to log it. But my new goal this week has been to not do that anymore. I'm going to keep track of everything I eat. Everything.
I want to explain that I know I am not fat. I don't look in the mirror and hate what I see.
(Sorry for the picture repeat, it's just the most recent one I have of myself in workout clothes)
My body is stronger and more capable than it has ever been and I know I don't look bad. I know that. My goal, until recently, was always to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, and if that ever happens I will rejoice!! But I've learned the number on the scale does not matter. My goal is to lean out and get the last two pairs of jeans that I've saved to fit. It doesn't matter what I weigh. So when I talk about dieting and counting macros and eating well, it's not because I think I'm fat. It's because I want to fuel my body and give it what it needs to preform and lean out, and hopefully help me become a better athlete.
I'm excited to continue this lifestyle change and if you're interested and have any questions, please contact me and we can talk. I feel like my body is unusually stubborn and just WON'T let go of fat easily, so if this works for me to help me achieve what I would like, then it has to work for you, too haha. If it doesn't work, then it doesn't work, and I'm still happy with my body. And at least I know I'm giving my body everything it needs, not restricting or starving myself, and living a healthy lifestyle.
Lastly, I want to talk about the importance of loving who you are regardless of what you weigh or how you look. I looked fantastic before I got pregnant with Brynlie, but I was still insecure and felt terrible about myself because I had gained 10 pounds. Ten. measly. Pounds. I hadn't learned to love myself, I had my self-worth wrapped up in how I looked. That is so, so, so hard not to do in this day and age, and it's something I work on daily. I am not in a perfectly confident place, but I am working on it and getting there. I know that no matter what happens on the outside, I am a pretty great person on the inside, and that won't ever change. And just because I don't look like a fitness model, does not mean I don't look great. So remember to love who you are. Embrace what your talents and what your body can do. Learn to love what makes you unique, because you will never be anyone else. Love who you are.
Thanks for listening to my weird little story. I'm excited for the future and to share this, along with all other aspects of my life, with y'all.